Zoe Gross graduated from IWU with a degree in Political Science. She is now in law school at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.
Zoe worked for ARC in the summer of 2012 as an Assistant Coordinator. She helped to support the work of the Community Partnership Program interns. She also worked on the Veggie Van project to help bring fresh fruits and vegetables into the food desert of West Bloomington (http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-access-research-atlas.aspx#.UiYZlzakoY4). She harvested fresh produce from the IWU Peace Garden (please link) and delivered peppers, tomatoes, and herbs to the Western Avenue Community Center food pantry.
Zoe was also enrolled in the Dr. Michael Weis’ history class that participated in a unique community engagement project. Each student was given a Flip video camera and paired with a local senior citizen. Students were asked to meet with their senior partner three times over the course of the semester and talk about the events happening that were being covered in class. This co-curricular project was of great value to the student as they learned first-hand about historical events and the local impact of some national happenings. The seniors also enjoyed the project as they were able to connect with students and share stories in a meaningful way. The end of the semester wrapped up with a reception at the McLean County Museum of History where the students entered transcripts of their interviews into the museum archives. A copy of the transcript was also given to the senior to share with her/his family and friends. Zoe was paired with a local senior named Pud and they continued to be connected long after the class wrapped up.
Zoe also took the ARC Grant Writing class. She wrote a mini grant for the West Bloomington Revitalization Project to start their own adopt-a-pot program (http://www.downtownbloomington.org/22/36/40.html). Zoe also wrote a grant to the McLean County Wellness Coalition (bnhealthy.org) to support greening efforts on the Westside.
Zoe was also an active member of the College Democrats, Res Publica, and she was an assistant for the Political Science lab. She was also active in her sorority, Sigma Kappa.
Here is Zoe on her ARC experience – “ARC has provided me with the tools, connections, and confidence to enter the Bloomington-Normal community like never before. Until this summer, I felt I was merely a student living at Illinois Wesleyan; Now, I am a community member engaged in life in our city. Working with ARC has given me the ability to put in motion projects to change lives in Bloomington-Normal, as well as experience to take with me to my future home.”